Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Marketing Jobs to Gen-Y College Grads

Generation Gaps are not the problem, the economy isI've been on a Gen-Y kick lately, so let's stay on it! Face facts:

  • The economy is screwed.
  • Mortgages scared everyone away from buying houses.
  • Tuition is expensive, and yes, you have to pay back those loans you spent at the dive bars.
  • Companies are scared to hire and when they are hiring they cannot get their message to the people that need to see it. 
  • Mom and dads place and a bartending gig, doesn't look too bad right about now.

Those college folk who finally crossed the stage in May or over the summer are not having a fun time in the job market. (Quick background and disclosure; I work for a job board, helping to make jobs more appealing to job seekers AND search engines) These eager Gen-Y workaholics are not confident right now. 

Why should they be confident right now? 
The messages that they are hit with everyday on the news, on tv, from their teachers, from their peers and from their parents is that there are no jobs, you might have to take a pay cut and, well, those 4-6 years you spent cramming for tests on the eve before the mid-term well, they don't mean dick right now. 

Marketing For A New Recruit 
Marketing for recruits in Gen-Y is similar in marketing products to us. You need to stand out from the loads of BS that is floating around on Job Boards, at Job Fairs and even at Interviews. The free pencil or frisbee hoopla is good for some, the some that are not interested in your job, but the spectacle of the event. 

Reaching Gen-Y with an opportunity to work for your company should bring pride to your company and showcase the future prospect of working there. Even with a dead end piece of crap telemarketing job, you can hit the heart of someone that can make miracles out of apples and mayonnaise. 

  • Tell a story. It works on blogs and 28% of us Gen-Y kids now author a blog
  • Video. We didn't make billionaires out ofSteve Chen and Chad Hurley for lack of giving our time and money away. 
  • Tell me how I am going to learn. Ryan Healy of Employee Evolution and Brazen Careerist suggest that our first job be about education. The education about the workforce that we did not learn in college. Knowledge is power, so teach and tell me how I am going to continue to learn even after I know how to do my job efficiently. 
  • Get up to speed on technology. You don't have to have iMac's and Bean Bags, but a bland, sand colored cubicle running Windows Me is not going to get you any Gen-Y superstars anytime soon. Yes budgets are tight, but please, that projector screen is so 4th grade. 
  • Social Networking. Learn it, live it and use it. 
  • Don't bull shit. If your company is tanking, tell us how we can help to make it better. If you are not going to promote us for 3 years don't tell us we are going to be VP in 2. We can see right through it. We are the king of excuses and can surely tell when you have one coming. 
  • Find us. We put enough information on the web to where you can find who and what you are looking for by typing in a few words into a Google search. I would almost be scared if someone found me for one of the million blog posts I have online. 
So Where Do We Go From Here 
I am far from an economist, but I do know there are good jobs out there going unfilled. I also know that job boards are full of shit jobs, pyramid schemes and sales jobs with no base. That makes it tough. Gen-Y, well at least the career minded and motivated ones, have a great advantage. They can network, build their personal brand, move back home or grab some cheap rental property (as there are lots of real estate investors begging to rent their condos away for pennies) and skip there way to new jobs from companies that want their help now. 

The College Graduate Career Confidence Survey suggests that the key motivators for grads and jobs are:  
  1. Opportunities to develop new skills 
  2. Appreciation for work/life balance 
  3. Establishing and maintaining a good rapport with their managers 
Does your company meet these motivators?
I would bet my small salaried check that they cannot. That's ok, we'll just spend company time reading blogs, networking with peers and planning our weekends. Hmm...

-Greg Rollett


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